I often get asked whether there is a secret formula as to how to organise your life. If there is a simple answer to being organised and staying organised. Unfortunately there isn’t some quick fix or easy remedy to get things sorted, but there are key things that really make all the difference if you are aware of them and create them for your own home and lifestyle.
It takes hard work, and is in truth an ongoing project that can last your entire lifetime – but don’t let that put you off – as you get more and more organised it really does take less and less time to stay that way, and the secret to this lies in 3 key things:-
Systems + Routines + Good Habits = Organised
The essence of being organised is to live with these things in place – and create them so that they fit for your lifestyle and that of the rest of your family – as everyone is different each of these things will be different for each person – but the fundamental reasoning for having them in place is the same for us all.
Systems in the home stop clutter forming – it’s really that simple!
It’s all about setting up systems in your home that make it easy to find/use and deal with any item at any given time.
You want to set your home up so that everything has a place that’s suitable in size for them, somewhere that’s easy to put things away, and that is close to where they are needed, as this is crucial to stop clutter forming anywhere.
Clutter is created when decisions aren’t made – and if you have already decided on what goes where, you have won most of the battle against clutter as you won’t have to think any longer about what to do or where to put things.
Spend some time working out how best to use the space you have in your home and set everything up so that it works for how you live, and you really will notice a difference straight away.
Once you have dealt with the “stuff” in your home, then you can move on to the people, amd that’s where routines really come in.
Setting up routines for everyone who lives in your house can really help it run more smoothly and with less stress on a day to day basis.
Having routines/schedules for the morning, the evening, the laundry, the cleaning etc…. takes all the guess work out of what has to be done, by whom and when.
Yes, it takes some work up front to set up routines that work for you, and they may take some tweaking over time – but once done they will save so much time each and every week going forward.
Contrary to popular belief, routines allow for things to run with more freedom rather than less.
People always get worried that they will have to live far too regimented a life if they create too many routines, but actually just the knowledge of what needs doing when can free up your time so much more than having to rush around daily in fire fighting mode.
And lastly, once you have the stuff and the people sorted in the house, and it’s running smoothly, then the key to finishing off this trilogy of organising aids is to create good habits in your life.
Habits are things we do subconsciously – they are ingrained in us so much that we don’t even have to think about them anymore.
We all have habits already, in fact, most of what we do is habit in our days – cleaning teeth, sleeping on a certain side of the bed, how we shower etc… and if you really watch yourself doing things over the course of the day then you will realise that you are on autopilot for most things and they just get done.
It’s harder when things aren’t habit.
Have you ever hurt part of your arm or hand which has stopped you being able to use it for a while? How much more difficult is it to get things done? – that’s because you have to start to think more about what you are doing and it isn’t habit to do things in this altered way. Things like cleaning your teeth with the other hand takes some extra thought and is usually more time consuming as a result.
Habits save us time, energy and stress – but it’s is hard to add in new habits into your day, so what do you do?
I always try and add onto existing habits instead as it’s a lot easier to put a little addition onto what I already do rather than try and remember to do a whole new thing.
For example – I found that I needed to really scrub my glass shower screen each week as water residue built up over time and I hated spending so much time on this during my cleaning. As such I worked out that if I used a window squeegee on the glass before I stepped out of the shower each time I used it, I would completely take away the need to scrub the glass each week. I put the squeegee inside the shower so it was to hand, and then added this to my usual shower routine. Now it is completely second nature to do this every time I finish my shower, and my bathroom clean each week takes far less time. It’s a win-win and all because I changed a habit ever so slightly.
If you can start to alter existing habits that you have to include parts of the routines and systems so that you don’t even have to think about it anymore, everything just runs better.
So there you have it! – The answer to “How to organise your life” boils down to these 3 things:-
1. Create systems so that everything in your home is in the best place possible
2. Create routines so that everything (and everyone!) in the home runs more smoothly
3. Add habits to your usual routines so that things become second nature
Once you have these in place, then you are truly on the path to being more organised!